Grand Canyon - North Rim

Discussion in 'Arizona' started by MileHigh, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. Axel

    Axel Member

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    AZTECA, I can't make a direct comparison because we only visited the North Rim. I suspect there's a lot more organized programs at the South Rim just because that's where the bulk of the visitors are. In particular, North Rim has a very, very small visitor/interpretive center if that's your thing (really just a gift shop).

    That said, North Rim has its own Junior Ranger program (different book than South Rim) and what I thought was a reasonable daily set of ranger-led walks, campfire talks, etc. We did a few and they were enjoyable and certainly comparable to what my junior ranger has done in other parks, including Bryce on that same trip. Since most are basically exercises in educational public speaking a lot of it, like anywhere, depends on your ranger.

    If you look at the NPS site (http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/things2know.htm) you'll see the Summer 2014 newsletter is still posted with the park program schedule. I'd expect 2015 to be similar.

    Like others in this thread we chose the North Rim based on the lack of crowding, and I can confirm that even in midsummer we never felt the park was packed. The area around the North Rim lodge was, perhaps, right at the limit of what I find tolerable in terms of crowds, but that fell off rapidly as soon as you got away from the lodge and onto the trails.

    If you do go to North Rim make sure to check at the visitor center for the weekly stargazing talks. While the North Rim was smaller than Bryce's program (just one telescope vs 20 or more at Bryce), it is quite a view and was a hit with my sleepy junior ranger.
     
  2. Sussya

    Sussya Member

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    Re: Grand Canyon - North Rim????

    We have been to both the North and South Rims. We *love* the North Rim for its peacefulness and lack of crowds. You will find more to do at the South Rim. There are paved walkways along the canyon, lots of ranger led programs, restaurant choices, gift shops, shuttles, and hotels. It all depends on what type of fun you are looking for. If you want lots of options in the way of attractions, choose the South Rim. If the kids are happy with trails, dirt, and their imaginations, choose the North Rim. The NR does have a few gift shops, restaurants, etc., but it is nothing like what is available at the SR. The SR is also closer to civilization. You've got Williams and Flagstaff close by. Other than Jacob's Lake, the NR is pretty remote, but we like that about it. :)
     
  3. Tukee44

    Tukee44 Member

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    4 things that struck me in Northern GC.

    The hwy going into the park cut across a vast meadow land that is very green during monsoon months. The view does not look like typical Arizona at all, more like mid-west.

    Fall Foliage is spectacular. There are miles after miles of Aspen trees.

    The view of the MilkyWay is spectacular 'cause the sky is so clear, and no street light within 50 miles radius.

    Round trip to the river is 28 miles, 5500 ft climb !!!! phoosh
     
  4. steveonzakon

    steveonzakon Member

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    DW and I are going to both rims in July. Thanks for the amazing pics
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    @steveonzakon
    I'm glad you have the chance to experience both rims. the difference in climate and views is great. I'll admit to loving both rim, and feeling cheated when we don't get a chance to visit every year or two. We have visited enough that we know where to go and how to manage the shuttles and our vehicle to best get away from the crowds - though we don't skip the Village area.
     
  6. SherryinBA

    SherryinBA New Member

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    We recently returned from the North Rim. The campground there was booked up so we stayed at Jacob Lake campground. It was beautiful, although close to the road. There is a private campground on the road to the NR, also another national forest campground. Be sure to stop at Jacob Lake restaurant, like a step back in time. At times, we had some of the points all to ourselves. I loved bragging, "We had the Grand Canyon all to ourselves."
     
  7. jweaks

    jweaks Member

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    We are heading to the GC in June, hauling our PuP from West Texas.
    We're doing Mather and the south rim for two nights, then hauling to the north rim campground for 3 nights. Hope it will be the best of both world (and not a foolish idea).

    Our TV is not the most powerful... any concerns about this trek? We have an ultralight PuP.
     
  8. ChocoChock01

    ChocoChock01 On the road aagaain See Rallies below;

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    If you can time it and join us for:
    2016 Quad-State Rally at Jacobs Lake.
    http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=82233.15
     
  9. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    As long as you have sufficient tow power for general towing, you should be fine. One thing to realize, assuming you are going to North Rim via 89 and 89A, is there is a long climb from House Rock up to just east of Jacob Lake. Not bad, just seems long.

    Unless you need to restock in Flagstaff, exiting South Rim via the East Rim road is great. That's our usual route out, and often going into South Rim too. Cameron Trading Post makes a good potty stop (I usually end up with new earrings too :))

    I'm assuming that you will be making, or have already made, reservations for your trip.

    I do encourage folks to visit both Rims when possible, or on separate trips, depending on their routes and schedules. We already have reservations for our trips this year - a week at Mather in March, close to a week at North Rim the week of Memorial Day. (South Rim is a day's drive for us, we take 2 days to/from North Rim these days.)
     
  10. ChocoChock01

    ChocoChock01 On the road aagaain See Rallies below;

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    I am now considering hitting South Rim on either the way up or the return trip. What are the suggested routes and CG?
     
  11. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We like to stay in Mather CG at South Rim itself, dry camping, handy to walk to the shuttles, etc. Trailer Village has hook-ups, but would be pretty cheek-to-jowl when full (I've only camped there in the colder months, to have power). Ten-X is a USFS campground just south of Tusayan; nice, just required driving back and forth to either the Canyon itself or the shuttle stop in town.
    In any case, I'd suggest making reservations ASAP. Availability of campsites may determine which end of the trip you sotp at South Rim. We have notes on a good portion of the Mather sites, but not Ten-X. Trailer Villages has spots assigned when you arrive.

    For access to/from the west, I'd suggest exiting at Williams and going if the south entrance (Tusayan) form there. For access to/from Jacob Lake & North Rim, we'd use the East Rim entrance, using 89 and 89A to Jacob Lake. If you need to restock at some point, you'll need to take that into account.

    PM me if you want more input.
     
  12. BaysideJim

    BaysideJim Member

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    Anyone know whats going on at the N Rim Campground... All of the sites are suddenly unavailable ?
     
  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    For what dates? I just did a random check for a couple of nights in August and they're available.
     
  14. BaysideJim

    BaysideJim Member

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    My bad I was looking at may and june. last week there was a lot of availability now its all gone
     
  15. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Since the season is so short, the campsites go fast. We made our reservations for Memorial Day week in January, and there were only had a few sites then that would fit our TT.
    Did you try for DeMotte, a USFS campground? We were too late last year to get a site in the park, but DeMotte didn't fill up nearly as early. It's a few miles outside the entrance, so involves a bit more driving. We missed the ability to walk to the Rim, etc., but it was still close. (We have friends who prefer DeMotte, and have walked through the woods to the nearby resort for breakfast.)
     
  16. BaysideJim

    BaysideJim Member

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    My loss - your gain. Work will prevent me from going camping to the N Rim this May. I have a reservation I will be canceling shortly. If anyone is interested PM me and we perhaps you can snag it!
     
  17. bman5431

    bman5431 New Member

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    Hi everyone

    We have reservations for three nights at the north rim campground oct. 13 to 16th. It's at the tail end of the season and we are a little nervous about the possibility of snow. Any thoughts and has anyone camped there that late before?
     
  18. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    @bman5431
    We hope to camp there some time in Oct. Timing hasn't worked out. It should be beautiful. Just keep an eye on the weather, it varies from year to year. Friends camped overnight there in Nov., having taken the shuttle from South Rim, they backpacked back across The Canyon. They and one other site were the only ones there.
     
  19. Firehawk068

    Firehawk068 Active Member

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    This is funny.
    I just made reservations at North Rim Campground 3 nights. October 11th-12th-13th.
    I'll be at site# 52 [CP]
     
  20. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is what Tukee44 was talking about. This is what it looks like on the road into the NR.

    [​IMG]

    This is a kaibab squirrel. Saw lots of them in the campground.

    [​IMG]

    Another favorite visitor was the Stellar's Jay. Saw them at Bryce too. Beautiful birds.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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